Shanghai to offer new startup visa for expat graduates and entrepreneurs

Published:  6 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, China, Euro
A new business startup visa is being introduced in a number of selected Shanghai districts.

Foreign would-be entrepreneurs are expected to take full advantage of several pilot schemes for a new startup visa. The visa, officially known as the Private Residence Permit (Entrepreneurship) and commonly known as the ‘startup visa’, is valid for one year and extendable for a further year should the entrepreneur be able to show a successful company incorporation. Alternatively, the new visa is able to be transferred to a work permit once a company is legally set up. To date, only several Shanghai districts including Yangpu and Changning have been designated as offering the new visa.

With its expanded scope of eligibility including graduates with no previous experience and those older than 60 years, the new visa is unique in its range of applicants. It also allows key staff and investors freedom to carry out auxiliary business functions such as recruitment, market research, business development and lease searching before the company is established legally. The majority of document requirements are similar to those required for other visa applications.

Those eligible to apply for the new startup visas include foreign graduates from Chinese universities, expats planning to innovate and invest in Shanghai and graduates from overseas who’ve gained degrees from world-renowned universities or their Chinese equivalents up to two years ago and who've already made outstanding achievements in Shanghai. One important requirement for the third category is a certificate from one of several government economic development zones showing entrepreneurship or investment.

The visa comes after a recent announcement by the Shanghai government of 100 new measures also aimed at easing market access to many key industrial sectors. In addition, preferential green card and visa policies as well as establishment incentives for top foreign talent have also been announced. Of course, Shanghai isn’t China’s only mega-city committed to attracting the brightest and best from across the world. Earlier this year, both Beijing and Yunnan province trumpeted their own calls to international expat top talent.
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